Updated April 21, 2023
Ask for Flexible Working Hours – In today’s corporate scenario, bid to meet deadlines and desired quality. How could an employee create a good work-life balance? Many studies have highlighted this as a major cause of frustration.
However, Human Resource managers are now more responsive toward their employee’s needs. They are designing many plans to keep their employees motivated and retain their satisfaction level. One is the flexible work plan.
These plans are the benefits employees enjoy adjusting between their working and personal activities. The flexible work options constitute flexible working hours, fewer work weeks, job sharing, or working from home. This option increases productivity, reduces absenteeism, and boosts job satisfaction.
As per the National Study of Employers, more than 68 percent of organizations provide employees the option to produce an alternative schedule.
For instance, the corporate headquarters of Best Buy has created an ultimate flexible work environment. This is an initiative on what is known as Results on Work Environment (ROWE), and this system works very well for them.
Employees work whenever they feel like it and wherever they want to work under this system. This resulted in a 35 percent increase in the company’s productivity as per the report of the June 2007 issue of HR Magazine found by Seth Stevenson in Slate.
Providing a flexible work schedule means employers are putting their trust in their employees, and they, in turn, are showing their commitment to increasing their productivity without any force, pressure, or stress.
Employees feel satisfied as they can easily fulfill their obligations and duties towards the company.
However, a flexible work schedule only works for some organizations. Many companies do not have this option nor prefer this kind of scheme. So enthusiastic employees have to apply for the same. They must show their commitment, dedication, and responsibility toward their work. They must be tactful in their approach, or any negligence can create distrust and annoyance in the boss.
Consider the suggestion below. They will help you get your desired schedule and increase your credibility and trust in the employer.
Find out what kind of Job Flexibility you require.
The common options are flexible, working on flexible hours and not 9 to 5 or 10 to 6 jobs and setting the schedule.
You have to analyze your feasibility and the conditions in which you are and decide on the kind of flexibility you need and what would be best for you so that you can balance your home and work easily.
You are very well aware of what you are asking about
It is practical and logical to seek the permission with justified and logical reasons. You need to define carefully what kind of alternate schedule you want to ask for and why. The scheme has many options, which can be easily customized too.
- The Family Flexible Plan: As a parent, you need time to spend with your children and having to drop and pick them up from school. The flexible hours you get can give you time to devote to your child, and you could work when your child goes to bed.
- The Shifted Schedule: Not all employees feel comfortable working during the conventionally set flexible hours. Some people feel comfortable working in the morning, and many love to work late at night. You will be more focused, energized, and motivated when you work as per your comfort. Flexibility is also best when working with colleagues or serving clients in different time zones.
- Three or Four days of work: Some employees work for three or four days a week but still contribute to their company and work for the team. They fix the appointments or schedule the meetings. Flexible working on specific days would enable them to plan their timing and give quality and productivity.
- Plan for quality and output: Many employers value face time. But their idea that the hours spent in the office give quality is partially correct. An employee with flexible working hours could give more output as he would have his freedom and space, and in return, he would be compensated well in terms of promotion or raise in salary or increments.
- Make Your Proposal Lucrative: Find specific examples of how the flexible schedule can benefit the company. If you offer to work a few hours from home and in an office, you can explain how that would save the company 20 percent of your salary and how it would help manage with the other time zones. Make sure to answer in a way that focuses more on the company’s benefit than your own personal needs.
- Get An Appointment for a Meeting: Fix an appointment to sit across the table with your boss to discuss your proposal. During the conversation, put more focus on the trial period. Your boss will willingly accept your proposal if he feels this arrangement would be more profitable and give results.
Analyze and Rate your Performance:
Make a critical study about your performance and analyze how you are performing, whether you are giving quality work or not, before asking for flexible work hours.
If your performance is not outstanding, start working flexibly to improve it. As Louis E. Boone and David L. Kurtz found out in their Contemporary Business 2010 update, “Flexitime is an accommodation, not an entitlement.”
And further, “Slackers and clock-watchers won’t benefit from the doubt”. If there is improvement in your performance and your boss is satisfied, then approach him with the option. You can explain your performance boost if you work in the morning or a peaceful environment. Also, explain the rest of your time to devote to your children or perform other errands.
If your employer feels your concern is genuine, you are hard-working and will give your best. He would surely consider your request to see your returns and output.
Find out how other departments are managing their working hours
One or two of your colleagues in the other departments easily take their work, gossiping, sipping a cup of tea, or merely chatting. You are surprised they are getting more increments, and the boss is quite satisfied with their work.
Why is it so? Why are you not receiving due appreciation when working hard and giving your best? They might have done their day’s job earlier because of their flexible working schedule.
They work when they feel more comfortable, and at ease, and in this way, they give more productivity, even though they are merely lingering here and there the rest of the time.
By giving their example, you can convince your boss too for giving you flexibility and space, which can increase your output as you will feel more mentally fresh and motivated.
In the remaining hours, you can spend your time upgrading your skills and can also go home early to attend to your child or perform personal work. You can also involve your co-workers in the proposal, hoping they can benefit from it.
Make a plan
Arrange the tasks that you can perform offsite and note down when you will be leaving the office and your mode of communication.
You need to compromise on many things. Sometimes, you have to share your office space with others. Likewise, you have to select another day instead of Friday to take a day off.
If you think that flexible working would reduce your chance of promotion or your incentives might get deductive, spend more time in the office. You can spend on other weekdays and finish the required task.
Make an impression on your boss that you are responsible and devoted to your work and organization.
While planning, consider all the benefits you would get or what your company will gain by your decision. Write a final proposal describing your plan, and its benefits, address all the justifying reasons, and present it to your boss. He might require a written proposal to discuss at the managerial level.
In your proposal, be upbeat about your work. Instead of saying, “I just can’t commute long-distance”, write down that by working for two or three days from home, you would be less stressed out, and you can devote more time to work in your home.
Provide an outline of your schedule for analyzing the plan’s success and propose a trial period. Managers would feel more comfortable if there was an option for ending the arrangement.
Be Ready for Any Situation
You also need to find out the possible methods to manage fluctuations. For instance, if the company is increasing its business, you must discuss adjusting to the new change.
Also, find out how it would be possible for you to accommodate meetings or any other events while you are away from the office.
Be Ready for Any Kind of Objections
Be ready with all the answers and solutions for any objections your boss might raise on your proposal. For instance, your boss might worry that if you are away, he won’t be able to supervise or communicate with you properly.
In this case, provide a valid answer that you would summarize the tasks during those hours and send you via mail or the best suitable communication channel.
Secondly, you would have all the technologies available for better communication, supervising, coordinating with the team, and providing a better workflow.
If your request is turned down, request flexibility on a trial or temporarily. Your response to each objection should be practiced and thoughtfully answered, which would help you have control over negotiations and increase your confidence.
Make sure that you repeat your points during discussions.
Complete All The Pending Tasks
After submitting the proposal, finish all your pending tasks and concentrate on meeting your goals. And your co-workers will not bother you about how many hours you are in the office.
In any corporate office, the only matter is performance. Find out with your boss to ensure they are satisfied with your performance, and never do anything that could go against the boss’s trust in you.
Flexible work schedules are not the norm. They are still increasing. If you sincerely want to discuss the same with your boss, study well about the best possible schedule that meets the company’s needs. Also, present how this new system could enhance your productivity and be profitable for the company.
Once your proposal is accepted, do not show the floppy side of you. It is equally pertinent to continue to show professionalism and meet the company’s standards and expectations. Make your boss feel proud of you. Continue to give respect to your co-workers and regard their needs.